President Obama skipped an event in Poland on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, in favor of visiting the royal family in Saudi Arabia.
The White House announced that Obama would be in Riyadh to pay his respects to King Abdullah, who died last week.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Holocaust ceremony was likely the last one at which a great number of Holocaust survivors would be present, as most are in their 80s and even older.
French President François Hollande, President Joachim Gauck of Germany, President Heinz Fischer of Austria, King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark all attended the event at the site of the Auschwitz death camp.
Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew represented the US. Some observers see this as an indicator as to the lack of importance attached to the commemoration of the Holocaust by the White House.
NBC News reports that Obama took the place of Vice President Joe Biden, who was originally slated to fly to Saudi Arabia. The White House had announced that Biden “will remain in Washington.”
This was not the first time that Obama has failed to attend events of international significance.
For instance, after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, he sent his ambassador to the historical mass rally against Islamic terror in Paris instead of attending personally or sending a higher-ranking official. Obama was reportedly watching a football game at the time. He came under harsh criticism for his negligence and later admitted his mistake.
By: United with Israel Staff
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